NAB NEWS 2015 BlackMagic’s new URSA mini (£2,149)

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When we introduced our first Blackmagic Cinema Camera, we really designed it to be hand held, like how a DLSR is used, but its was a true digital film camera with wide dynamic range. Of course a lot of people wanted to use it shoulder mounted and tripod mounted and it was not as good for that kind of use.

Our URSA camera solved these issues, however URSA is designed for a larger crew so it has multiple screens, scopes, high performance and higher frame rates and more. This makes it larger and not as portable as the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera.


The result of all this work is URSA Mini. It’s a portable URSA based digital film camera, and while it does not have all the features of URSA, it has a lot and it uses the same sensors and core processing of URSA. It features magnesium alloy for its design so it’s very small and very lightweight which is perfect for portable and hand held use.

URSA Mini features the same 4K and 4.6K sensor options as URSA and is compatible with the new Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder. It features frame rates up to 60 fps, and it has a bright 5 inch full HD touch screen that folds out and angles. Like URSA, URSA Mini also has dual CFast card recorders so you can continue to record while changing cards and uses the same battery options.

URSA and URSA Mini shoot the same looking images so you can easily use both cameras on the same shoot and intercut the shots perfectly.


URSA Mini is a true digital film camera so it can be used on feature films, television shows, commercials, indies, documentaries, music videos and more. The stunning quality of the 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range really lets you capture cinematic shots, while its small size is perfect for solo shooting or intimate handheld shots.

URSA Mini has multiple mounting points so it can be easily accessorized with lenses, rails, matte boxes and more. There is an optional Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit, which features a shoulder pad with a quick release mount built into it so it can go from handheld to shoulder or to a tripod without changing any of the rig. The shoulder kit has been designed specifically for URSA Mini so when its used and the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is added, this camera looks amazing!


It has an included side handle as standard that has a LANC based record, focus and iris buttons, however when the shoulder kit is used, you can relocate that handle to one of the front rosettes and really hold the camera well on your shoulder. It’s a great shoulder mounted camera rig!

There are 4 models of URSA Mini as there is two lens mounts and two sensor options. URSA Mini 4K EF is $2,995, URSA Mini 4K PL is $3,495. With the new 4.6K sensor, URSA Mini 4.6K EF is $4,995 and URSA Mini 4.6K PL is $5,495. URSA Mini will be available late July.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

BlackMagic deliver again with the Micro Studio Camera 4K (£929)

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With such a small Micro Cinema Camera design, we quickly realized that if we removed the built in recorder and digital film sensor cooling and replaced with SDI connections and a 4K video image sensor, we could build a really small studio camera for live production!

The Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K looks the same as the new Micro Cinema Camera but it’s really a completely different camera because its a broadcast quality Ultra HD studio camera!

Although you can use it with an external recorder as a production camera, it’s really designed to be used in live production with a live production switcher. It has an Ultra HD sensor so it works in native Ultra HD and of course with a sensor at that high resolution, it makes an incredible HD camera also!

Because it’s a live camera, it’s features are almost identical to our Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K. It has SDI in and out, a built in color corrector and all the control to the camera can be sent via the SDI input so it uses the same SDI control protocol as our studio cameras and ATEM switchers. It uses 6G-SDI, so supports all Ultra HD frame rates up to 30 fps, but it does 1080 HD frame rates up to 60 fps using the full sensor size.


It includes an expansion connector, but it’s also different. This camera has a PTZ serial connection out and this can be used for controlling a remote head. Any pan, tilt and zoom commands sent to the camera via SDI from the switcher will be output on this PTZ connection and if you have a zoomable MFT lens, it will adjust the zoom on the lens as well


Also on the expansion connector is a B4 lens control connection so we can control broadcast lenses. We have been asked for this a lot by high end broadcasters and now with this camera and the B4 lens connection you can use add accessories to turn this camera into a fully featured studio camera. Imagine using it as a full sized studio camera with external monitor and broadcast lens. Or using it on set concealed so you can get all kinds of exciting and interesting camera angles!

The Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K will be available in July for $1,295.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

NAB 2015 NEWS – BlackMagic Micro Cinema Camera Poster

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No guessing what BlackMagic are bringing out this fine day at NAB…The BlackMagic Micro Cinema Camera with its 4.6K Super 16mm sensor…plus a more compact lighter Ursa mini  more to follow.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

NAB 2015 from the Sony stand

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The PXW-X320 is a high-performance SxS memory camcorder which inherits field-proven operability from the reputable PMW-320. The PXW-X320 has become a part of the XDCAM HD422 family, comes equipped with cutting-edge imaging technology – three 1/2-inch-type Full-HD Exmor CMOS sensors with an extremely high S/N ratio – with Flash Band Reducer feature to provide outstanding picture quality.

The PXW-X320 supports XAVC offering high quality content creation in the HD domain. In addition to XAVC, MPEG HD422, MPEG HD, MPEG IMX, and DVCAM are supported. Two HD/SD-SDI, HDMI, i.LINK™, and composite outputs provide a wide range of AV and IT interfaces. The PXW-X320 also supports wireless operation using an optional adapter, the CBK-WA101. This enables easy and quick clip data transmission to broadcast stations, saving the time and transportation cost of shot clip delivery.


Catalyst Edit focuses on video editing while you focus on creativityThe flexible timeline makes cutting 4K, XAVC, and Sony RAW files as fast and easy as HD. Take advantage of your camera’s wide color gamut and high dynamic range to deliver the full emotional experience. The streamlined Catalyst Edit multichannel audio workflow simplifies complex audio production, from camera to delivery. Tight Catalyst Prepare integration combines powerful media ingest with fast editing for maximum efficiency. For Mac and Windows, its contemporary, touch-friendly interface helps accelerate your workflow. Experience focused, fast cutting for 4K, RAW, and HD video with Catalyst Edit.Catalyst Prepare bridges the gap between acquisition and editing

Use it to move the media preparation process and “data wrangling” out of the edit bay. With Catalyst Prepare you deliver the correct media to streamline postproduction and keep your creative energy focused on your vision.


World’s first 4K system camera with three authentic 4K image sensors

The new HDC-4300 is the world’s first camera to use three 2/3-inch 4K image sensors. It provides the ability to use the high magnification wide zoom range lenses currently employed by HD 2/3-inch systems while maintaining an adequate depth of field to accurately show all the action during live event broadcasting.

Not the most exiting start to NAB, Sony have cameras for everyone and this shallow NAB presentation proves it. Why invent a 4K system camera when most broadcasters are still using HD system cameras and down converting their output to SD ? With sparse HD transmission in the UK I feel there is little need for 4K in this field…yet !

Catalyst Edit…Another first for Sony, is the bell toiling for Vegas or are Sony hoping to take FCPX, AVID and Adobe head on, this must be the strangest progression of the Catalyst branding yet, unless as it has been pointed out you are stuck with Adobe’s CS6 and you own a PXW-X70, Catalyst Edit might just be a saviour !

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

DJI Phantom 3 from £899

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There are two versions of the Phantom 3, firstly the Advanced as above and the Professional (below). If you only need HD the Advanced model is for you while the Professional model has a 4K 25p camera.


The shots these copters are producing are truly stunning, in fact the one nugget of information I did not know was that the CAA has no jurisdiction inside a building…but you better be a dammed good pilot, if your Phantom hits someone and your not insured…OUCH !

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

A solution for Sony FS7 owners who need HD-SDI down converted to SD (£350 plus vat)

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Once again this came about because the Sony FS7 only outputs UHD and HD from the HD-SDI sockets. I was filming a job during the week which ended with the need to produce a live link. I was assured there was an HD feed but sadly that was not the case. Out came the Sony X70 422 10bit camera with an SD feed straight from the HD-SDI socket. Having looked into it and some sage advice from Stuart from Holdan I  ordered the data video DAC-70. This will be a very useful tool as you can input SDI-HDMI sources and output to either SDI or HDMI in both HD or in my case SD.


Video Input formats

  • SD-SDI: 525i, 625i
  • 3G-SDI: 080p60/50, 1080p59.94
  • HD-SDI: 1080i60/50, 1080p30/25/24, 1080p29.97, 1080p23.98, 1080i59.94, 720p60/50, 720p59.94
  • HDMI: (YUV/RGB): 1080p60/50, 1080p59.94, 1080p30/25/24, 1080p29.97, 1080p23.98, 1080i60/50, 1080i59.94, 720p59.94, 720p60/50, 576p, 480p, VGA, 1600×1200@60Hz, 1400×1050@60Hz, 1366×768@60Hz, 1280×1024@60Hz, 1024×768@60Hz, 800×600@60Hz

Video Output formats

  • SDI / HDMI (YUV: 4:2:2): 1080p60/50, 1080p59.94, 1080p23.98/29.97/24/25/30, 1080i60/50, 1080i59.94, 720P60/50, 720P59.94, 525i, 625i

Supported Audio formats

  • SDI embedded Audio: Up to 8-CH, PCM 48KHz
  • HDMI embedded Audio: up to 8-CH, PCM 96KHz
    – Stereo audio input: 2-CH, PCM 48KHz


Holdan “The one mini converter that should be in every kit bag. Whatever kit freelancers or clients ask you to use for a shoot, this device will get you out of jail: up, down and cross convert; ingest VGA signals into an SDI workflow; embed stereo audio into a video feed.”

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Canon XC-10…A 4K fixed lens 10x zoom for £1920

Categories: Miscellaneous 17 Comments


I like the look of this camera and at £1920 I think this will be the new C100. The 10x fixed lens is fine by me, mainly for a dust free sensor but its not a constant aperture lens in fact its f2.8 to 5.6 which is two stops of a difference…shame.


You can record onto SD cards for full 1080 50p HD 422 8 bit or CFast cards for 4k 1080 25p at 422 8 bit, once again quality at 4K is compromised running at 8 bit .


Love the handle obviously taken from the C300 and the petiteness of the camera overall. The 10x optical zoom is 24.1-241 mm (still images) and 27.3-273 mm (video).


I suspect the XLR unit for the C300 MarkII may fit onto the hot shoe for professional audio connections but as with Canon of old, don’t hold your breath.


Its got one ND filter, no specs yet and a 3.0” VGA+, 1.03 million dots (3:2), capacitive touch panel, vari-angle supported LCD. I think this camera would be a great “B” camera for a C300, C100 and the C300 MkII in 4K 25p mode.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Canon respond with a 4K C300 Mark II at a whopping price of £11,299

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Canon responds to the Sony FS7 with a C300 Mark II but at an unappealing price of £11,299. You could be forgiven if you relate the C300 MkII price against the C500 at £14,299…a camera that never took off. Secondly Canon have just slashed the C300 down to £5,999 to half its original price.

A new body only Sony FS7 is £6,199 but still hard to get hold off, I told at least six C300 owners at BVE 2015 to hold off till Canon announce this new camera but seeing it from their eyes they have been dealt a double blow…very little second hand value on their existing C300 and a further £14,299 to find to upgrade to the new C300 MkII.

The last negative is the 4K frame rate of 25p against the FS7s 50p mode this is a deal breaker for me personally, if 25p is your bag then you will be happy with either camera.

Thats the negative part out of the way, what are you getting with the new C300 MkII…


You still get the “monitor unit” but Canon have also added an optional XLR unit that fits onto the hot shoe, a good idea as a lot of people will be using their own external viewfinders.


The EVF is now an OLED EVF with approximately 1770,000 dots (1024 x RGB x 576). It has a contrast ratio of 5000:1 vs 270:1 on the original C300. This is a vast improvement on the original LCD.


The colour range on the camera is also widened. The mkII is now capable of using the ITU-R BT.2020 colour gamut which is considerably wider than REC.709.

A 4K image can be recorded at 410Mbps in 10-bit 4:2:2 at up to 29.97 frames per second (fps) internally to CFast 2.0 cards using the new XF-AVC Intra codec.
2K and HD imagery can be recorded at RGB 444 in 10-bit at 210Mbps, or even 12-bit at 225Mbps to CFast 2.0 using the same codec.

The XF-AVC Intra is similar in concept to Sony’s XAVC Intra frame codec and Canon expects most major pro editing applications to support it by the time the camera ships. Lets hope Apple will add this into their up and coming FCPX update, possibly due this week ! The use of a modern I-frame codec should allow for excellent quality while maintaining manageable file sizes.

At the same time as the XF-AVC Intra file is being recorded to a CFast 2.0 card, a proxy file can be recorded in lower bitrate 8-bit 2K/HD 4:2:0 to a SD card. In some cases this may be good enough to be used as a deliverable where a file has to be rapidly sent to a broadcaster or client.

The 2K/HD high speed recording at 120 or 100fps (depending on the PAL/NTSC setting) is perhaps the most limiting feature of the C300 mkII compared to its nearest rivals. Additionally the C300 mkII needs to be set in a crop mode to attain these frame rates.

If you want RAW output then the C300 mkII can do that as well. It can output 4K 4:4:4 to an external recorder like the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q or Atomos Shogun.

The shape and ergonomics of the C300 mkII remain largely the same as those of the mkI. The body alone weighs 1880g, slightly more than the original’s 1430g. With LCD, grip and handle it weighs 3.37kg compared to the mkI at 2.7kg. Overall, Canon claim the body is stronger and more durable. There are rubber seals on the buttons and more die cast components. The buttons on the side of the camera now illuminate in the dark to aid setup. The stock handgrip too has been upgraded and is more robust than the original C300 grip.

Even though they look similar there have been several big improvements. The redesigned handle attaches to a top helmet which has been added. The handle is much more sturdy, with a useful 15mm rod clamp added, along with several 1/4” 20 mounting points.

As I am working today I have taken this section from

So there you have it the new Canon C300 MkII 4K internal recording cinema camera, there is a lot more to flesh out but thats all I can tell you till I come back after a shoot. There is one other new Canon camera the XC-10 4K camera, more about this later.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

YAGH for sale £450 plus postage (UK only) Updated – SOLD

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It’s just been pointed out to me that Holden are now selling the YAGH new for £750 incl vat, but they are not selling a BPU regulated power adapter or 4 pin XLR cable adding a further £175 which I am throwing in as part of the deal.

The YAGH turns your Panasonic GH4 into a fully fledged Pro camera with XLR phantom power audio, HD-SDI output and full size HDMI output. Good as new, original packaging included.



If you want a bargain for your GH4 send an email to, postage will be extra sent Special Delivery. Note…UK residents only. Pay through PayPal (You don’t have to be a member of PP to use the service). Note no batteries included, you can buy them from DSM Broadcastpower.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Canon C300 drops like a stone in the US with a 4K C300 NAB announcement imminent

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Due to the imminent announcement of a new 4K C300 prices in the US have dropped dramatically to $6,499 (£4,380), considering this camera cost £12,500 just over 3 years ago,  £8,000 is a massive loss to anyone thinking of upgrading to the new version.


Strangely UK pricing is still around the £8,000 mark but this strange page appeared at the CVP web site declaring the the C300 was discontinued and was being superseded by a C300 with Digital Auto Focus ! Though the picture is in fact a C100.

I got just over £6,000 when I sold my C300 this time last year so I can’t complain but the second hand value this year will be a lot less, you will be lucky to sell a C300 for £3,000 after NAB 2015.

If you are planning to jump ship you are always advised to sell long before April to give yourself the best possible chance of a good return on your money.

Will Canon take some hard to get sales from Sony’s FS7…that will depend on price, specifications and codec.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

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